A couple of weeks ago I went down to the Ginsecco pop up evening at The Nottingham Playhouse Bar & Kitchen. A promise of 6 tapas style courses of British food with a twist, paired with 6 cocktails from the Ginsecco guys… Why wouldn’t I go?!
Ginsecco is opening this summer in the Cornerhouse, and we were introduced to all things gin by Joe Macbeth, the General Manager. We were told to expect British cuisine, paired with spectacular gin cocktails made with British gin. So what was on the menu?
Up first was an English Breakfast. At 7pm I thought this was a little strange but now I can’t work out why I don’t eat a fry up at all times of day! Sausage, bacon, beans, topped with an egg, all encased in a hash brown basket was paired with a Greenall’s Gin cocktail. It contained Aperol, homemade rhubarb liqueur, fresh lemon, apricot nectar and dry prosecco. The bread ended up in my cocktail, making it slightly soggy but tasting of marmalade. This really worked, although my mind was telling me it shouldn’t!
Next up was mini fish & chips. Mini cod goujon, triple cooked chunky chips, tartar sauce and a lemon wedge and paired with a dry prosecco. I have never had fish & chips with a prosecco (my chosen drink is usually dandelion & burdock ha) but I loved feeling fancy whilst still eating a chippy tea. The fish & chips were served in a paper cone which I thought was a great touch and the tartar sauce came on the side. It was so good I asked for extra sauce. The chips were so thick, more like roast potatoes and the fish was crisp on the outside and soft and white inside.
Up next was a gorgeous soft boiled quails egg, wrapped with wild boar, onion and sage. I am usually not a fan of scotch egg but this was divine! The boar meat added an earthy flavour and the quails egg was still runny in the middle making it super juicy. I would definitely have this again. The cocktail this time was a Berkeley Square Gin with Wyldwood apple cider, thyme cordial, celery bitters, fresh lime and juniper & hops foam. It was served in a half pint glass and was possibly my favourite cocktail of the evening. It tasted like I imagine a garden would taste like on a summers day. It was so refreshing.
Up next was Maris Piper potato, crispy streaky bacon, garlic and cabbage croquette, bacon and thyme sauce. Basically a bubble & squeak! Growing up I hated bubble & squeak, but this really was something else! It came in a croquette style, deep fried balls of goodness. A Bloom Gin cocktail with honey and ginger syrup, fresh lemon, egg whites and carrot juice. This was incredibly strong and the ginger could have overpowered the gin, but thankfully didn’t, and the sweet honey tones weren’t hidden. It was again a really refreshing cocktail and I would have it again.
Last on the savoury dishes was my favourite of the night. Who doesn’t love a full roast dinner? A Yorkshire pudding, stuffed with carrot & swede puree, a slice of beef fillet, duchess potatoes and beef jus, this was bloody gorgeous. I could have eaten 10 of these they were just spectacular. I noticed when the waitress was clearing the plates, someone hadn’t touched theirs. i wanted to run after them and stuff the whole thing in my mouth at once. I resisted, but only because after 4 drinks I struggled to stand! This was paired with a Thomas Dakin Gin cocktail with Amaro Montenegro, Ancho Reyes, Monin saffron syrup, Ginsecco sangria mix and tonic. The spice in this hit my throat, I think there may have been chilli in it somwhere? I love Thomas Dakin gin and this cocktail was great, despite the kick.
The final course was our dessert. A Brioche & white chocolate pudding with creme en glaze. This was paired with my least favourite cocktail of the evening. An Opihr gin, Banana du Bresil, toasted coconut and dark chocolate, coffee infused olaroso sherry and walnut bitters. It was just so strong! I am not a fan of coffee and as much as I wanted to like it, I just couldn’t! The pudding was delicious but I felt it was a little too heavy for me after the other 5 courses!
I had such a fantastic evening with Ginsecco and The Nottingham Playhouse. I really can’t wait for Ginsecco to open at the Cornerhouse and to try more of their cocktail menu. It actually highlighted how good the food at the Playhouse is too, so I will be heading down to check out their usual menu as soon as possible.
*I was offered a discounted ticket in return for my review. Thank you to the Ginsecco guys for having me!